The board of directors of Nu Boyana Film Studios has unveiled plans to construct 10 new ultramodern stages, one of them larger than 5,000 square metres, as part of a rapid expansion that could double production of big-budget films in Bulgaria. The construction plans are currently awaiting a green light from the Sofia municipal architectural department.
Nu Boyana was created after a painful privatisation procedure in 2006 by which the Los Angeles-based production and distribution company Nu Image bid €6.2 million for control of Bulgaria's Boyana Studios. Under the privatisation agreement, Nu Image is committed to investing €15.5 million within three years. Of that amount, €11.4 million had to be invested the first year.
The giant construction plan, to will be financed by the main shareholders - Nu Image as well as US film companies Millennium and First Look - should double the number of the productions annually shot in Bulgaria.
With a current contingent of 400 permanent staffers and another 300 working on a temporary basis, next year Nu Boyana may engage more than 1,500 people in about 30 American productions.
The name most often mentioned in connection with these plans is Al Pacino, who may shoot two high-budget blockbusters in Bulgaria. The names of the films are being kept under wraps by CEO David Varod.
Another famous film personality mentioned frequently in the Bulgarian press as possibly coming to Sofia is Sylvester Stallone. After the financial success of Rocky 6 and Rambo 4, the famous star may be considering using the new studios for his forthcoming Rambo 5.
The last important Nu Boyana film shot in Bulgaria was The Code with Antonio Banderas and Morgan Freeman. In 2007 Nu Boyana co-produced Balkan Blues, the newest feature of the famous Bulgarian director Zornitsa Sofia (Mila from Mars).